The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
IMEV 285
An doly season to an careful ditty
Robert Henryson, The Testament of Cresseid — eighty-six stanzas rhyme royal, with Complaint in seven 9-line stanzas
Note: Ringler Jr. (1992), TM 165; Ringler Jr. (1988), TP 156.9.
Author(s): Robert Henryson
Title(s): The Testament of Cresseid
Subjects: Troilus and Criseyde, story of
Versification: — seven-line, nine-line — ababbcc, aabaabbab

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Addit. C.287 (SC 29640), pp. 476-509
First Lines:
A doly seasun till a care full dite
Should correspond & be equiualent
Right so it was when I began to write
This tragedy the weder right feruent…
Last Lines:
…Of faire Creseid as I haue saied before
Sith she is dedde I spake of her no more
Note: 1640 transcript of Thynne’s edition by Kinaston; ‘Annotationes in Triste Creseide Testamentum’ follow the poem on pp. 510-525; at the end on p. 525: ‘Finis. Quarto Maii 1640‘. Eng. from Thynne, with Latin tr. by Kinaston, c. 1639.
Smith, G. Gregory, ed. The Poems of Robert Henryson. 3 vols. Scottish Text Society 55 (1906), 58 (1908), 64 (1914); rpt. New York, 1968: 1.1.
2.Source: Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Library Gg.4.27 (Part 1b), f. 9
First Lines:
…This roiall ringe set with this rubie redd
Which Troilus in dowrie to me sende…
Last Lines:
…Some time compted the flovere of woman hed
vnder this stone late leper lieth dedde
Note: Fragment, lines 582-609, in a seventeenth-century hand from Speght (1598).
Attributed Title: The Testament of Creside (f. 9)
Parkes, Malcolm B., and Richard Beadle. “Introduction.” Poetical Works. Geoffrey Chaucer. A Facsimile of Cambridge University Library MS Gg.4.27. 3 vols Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1979 (vol. 1); 1980 (vols. 2-3).
3.Source: Cambridge UK, St John’s College L.1 (235), ff. 121v-128v
First Lines:
A doly season till a carefull dite
Should correspond and be aequivalent…
Last Lines:
…Of faire Creiseid as I haue said before
Sith shee is dedd I speake of her noe more
Note: Added by a hand of s. xvi2.
Attributed Title: The Testament of Criseide (f. 121v); Explicit Liber Troili & Creiseidos (f. 128v)
Beadle, Richard, and Jeremy Griffiths. “Introduction.” St. John’s College, Cambridge Manuscript L. 1. A Facsimile. Norman, OK: Pilgrim, and Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1983.
4.Source: Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Library Dc.1.43 [Ruthven MS], f. 301v
First Lines:
doly sassone onto ane cayrfull dit
suld corespond & be eqewolent…
Last Lines:
…And poell artyk com wystleand lovd & schyll
And causit me rai[ ]t agane my wyll…
Note: Stanzas 1-3 only, added to flyleaf.

Print Witnesses:
1.Source: Geoffrey Chaucer, Workes, Thynne, 1532 , ff. 219ara-219dvb
First Lines:
A Doly season tyl a careful dyte
Shulde coresponde & be equiuolent…
Last Lines:
…Of fayre Creseyde as I haue sayd before
Sithe she is deed I speke of her no more
Note: 606 lines; follows Troilus and Criseyde, but noted as distinct (see printed closing to Troilus); sigs. Q.q.iiira-Q.q.vivb; three folios unnumbered between 219 (end of Troilus) and 220 (beginning of Legend of Good Women), so here designated numbered 219 as ‘219a’ and three unnumbered as ‘219b’ to ‘219d’; see 17th-century transcript by Kinaston above.
Attributed Title: The testament of Creseyde (f. 219ara); Thus endeth the fyfth and laste booke of Troylus and here foloweth the pyteful and dolorous testament of fayre Creseyde (f. 219ara); This endeth the pyteful and dolorous testament of fayre Creseyde (f. 219dvb)
Smith, G. Gregory, ed. The Poems of Robert Henryson. 3 vols. Scottish Text Society 55 (1906), 58 (1908), 64 (1914); rpt. New York, 1968: 3.175-98.
2.Source: STC 13165. Henryson, Robert, The Testament of Cresseid, H. Charteris, 1593
Anderson, A. The Testament of Cresseid Compyled by Master Robert Henrison. Glasgow, 1663.
Chalmers, George. Robene and Makyne and The Testament of Cresseid. Bannatyne Club 6. Edinburgh, 1824.
Sibbald, John. Chronicle of Scottish Poetry…. 4 vols. Edinburgh and London, 1802: 1.157-76 (extracts).
Eyre-Todd, George. Mediaeval Scottish Poetry. Abbotsford Series of the Scottish Poets. Glasgow: W. Hodge, 1892: 103-25.
Skeat, Walter William, ed. The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. 7 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1894-7: 7.327-46.
Arber, Edward. The Dunbar Anthology, 1401-1508. London, New York: Frowde, 1901: 156-78.
Smith, G. Gregory, ed. The Poems of Robert Henryson. 3 vols. Scottish Text Society 55 (1906), 58 (1908), 64 (1914); rpt. New York, 1968: 3.3-24.
Neilson, William Allan, and Kenneth Grant Tremaye Webster. Chief British Poets of the 14th and 15th Centuries London: Dent; and New York: Dutton, 1916: 367-74.
Dickins, Bruce, ed. The Testament of Cresseid. Edinburgh and London: Porpose Press, Faber & Faber, 1925.
Wood, Henry Harvey. The Poems and Fables of Robert Henryson. Edinburgh, London: Oliver and Boyd, 1933; 2nd ed. rev., 1958: 105-26.
Elliott, Charles, ed. Robert Henryson: Poems. Oxford: Clarendon, 1963/1974: 90-107.
Scott, Tom, ed. Late Medieval Scots Poetry. London: Heinemann, 1967: 44.
Fox, Denton, ed. The Testament of Cresseid London: Th. Nelson, 1968.
Kinghorn, Alexander Manson, ed. The Middle Scots Poets. London: Arnold, and Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1970: 101.
Scott, Tom, ed. The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse. London: Penguin, 1970: 85.
Fox, Denton, ed. The Poems of Robert Henryson. Oxford: Clarendon, 1981: 111-31 (critical ed.).
Gray, Douglas. The Oxford Book of Late Medieval Verse and Prose. Oxford: Clarendon, 1985: 288-304.
Bawcutt, Priscilla J., and Felicity Riddy, eds. Longer Scottish Poem. vol. 1: 1375-1650. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Pr., 1987: 170-93.
Dunn, Charles W., and Edward T. Byrnes, eds. Middle English Literature. New York, 1973; 2nd ed. New York: Garland, 1990: 524-42.
Bawcutt, Priscilla J., and Felicity Riddy, eds. Selected Poems of Henryson and Dunbar. Edinburgh: 1992: 99-122.
Pearsall, Derek, ed. Chaucer to Spenser: An Anthology of Writings in English 1375-1575. Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1999: 470-84.
Kindrick, Robert L., ed. The Poems of Robert Henryson. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University for TEAMS, 1997.